Saturday, November 3, 2012

BOOK REVIEW and AUTHOR INTERVIEW: A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger

A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger

Kathi Macias

New Hope Publishers, 2011

My Review

Kathi Macias does it again.  She’s taken me inside a world that I knew almost nothing about.  Young Isabella pregnant, and her new husband Francisco have to escape Mexico into safety after her whole family was murdered.  Surviving in the Arizona desert, her husband is also murdered trying to protect his beloved wife and their unborn son. 

Not too far away lives Miriam, who lost her husband, who was a border guard.  He was murdered by people trying to escape Mexico.  It’s left her very bitter and filled with hatred toward the people of Mexico, and toward God. 

One miraculous Christmas Eve both women meet in a barn filled with animals and experience the miracle of Christmas together. 

I couldn’t put this book down.  Reading about the dangers of both Mexico and the desert reminded me just how blessed I am to have the life I have.  No matter how many trials I have, they don’t compare to those who are homeless, and in danger.  This book takes us through the heartache of grief, through labor and delivery of a child, and the struggle to survive.  My heart goes out to those who just long to have a good life and can’t get it in their homeland.  May God be with each and every one of you.  

My Over-all Rating
Author Interview

How did you come up with the idea for A Christmas Journey Home?
I knew I wanted to do a Christmas book—the first of what would become an annual event that my publisher and I were discussing—and I also knew that despite the lighter tone required in a Christmas book (as opposed to the darker themes of the persecuted Church and human trafficking, which I’ve been writing about), I had to stick to my “brand” as closely as possible: hence, an “issues-related” Christmas novel, dealing with the issues related to illegal immigration. 

What was your favorite scene to write in A Christmas Journey Home?
I loved writing this entire book, and the characters are delightful (except the villains, of course!), so I loved almost all the scenes. But I think I liked the scenes with Isabella’s old abuelo best, as the grandfather reminded me of my own grandpa and even my dad, both of whom I loved dearly. I love incorporating at least one elderly saint in each of my books, and in this one I decided on a man since most of the other books have had women as the elderly, praying characters. I also brought in a little boy because children can add such a delightful element to any story, and six-year-old Davey certainly does that in A Christmas Journey Home.

What was the most difficult scene, and why?
The toughest scene had to be when Francisco and Isabella thought they were finally on the verge of being able to get away from the migrant camp and find a small home of their own, where their baby could be born in relative comfort and safety. If you’ve read the book, you know that isn’t at all what happens. But this heartbreaking scene had to take place to bring the story to its miraculous conclusion.

What is there about you, apart from writing, that many people don’t know?
First, my “road name” is “Easy Writer” because my husband and I were Harley riders for many years. (We’ve traded the bike in on a 2005 Corvette, so I’m still “Easy Writer” but in comfort now!) Also, I served on staff at a large Southern California church for several years, training small group leaders and doing biblical counseling, among other things.

Who are some of your favorite writers, and are you an avid reader?
Absolutely I’m an avid reader! I have always loved books/reading/words and been fascinated by them. When I ran out of books as I child, I started writing my own. (Voila! Look what came of that!) As for favorite writers, that’s tough, but here are just a few: Brock and Bodie Thoene, Francine Rivers, Patti Lacy, Athol Dickson, Jim Rubart, and Alan Paton, who wrote my favorite all-time fiction book, Cry the Beloved Country. That book changed my life and inspired my novel set in South Africa in 1989, No Greater Love. I also enjoy reading Brennan Manning, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Oswald Chambers, and Max Lucado for nonfiction.

What’s on the horizon for you now, so far as future book projects?
I am currently finishing up the final book of the three-installment Freedom series (Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer). Then I will jump into my Christmas 2012 novel (working title is A Home For Christmas) and a novel called Last Chance for Justice, which is part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series with another publisher. After that I hope to get going on a new fiction series, which is still in the discussion/planning stages with my publisher and agent. So life is busy, but most contracts coming my way seem to be fiction right now. I am also keeping busy with very occasional editing projects and some speaking/teaching around the country.

Where can we find out more about you, The Freedom Series, and keep up with your to-be-released books? 
Please feel free to visit my website at

 ——————– ABOUT KATHI MACIAS ——————–

Kathi Macias, Author & Speaker

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Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences. She won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

“I can vividly remember the first time I heard Kathi Macias speak at a women’s event. Her calming spirit lit up the room. Her natural grace and passion for the Word of God was so powerful that it has stuck with me over many years. Kathi is very devoted to all the work that she does, whether it be speaking, writing or teaching, and that devotion manifests itself in all her pursuits.” ~ Robin Farmer, Camarillo, California

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